• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"For what reasons can it be argued that the Second World War was "Total War"

Extracts from this document...


Ioulia Samouilovskaia. 26.09.05. "For what reasons can it be argued that the Second World War was a "Total War"?" Second World War was a horrifying event, which left an even deeper scarf in people's lives than the First World War. It brought far more damage and deaths than the previous war. However in order to answer whether the Second World War was a Total War, we first have to define what is Total War. Total War is the war that affects all of society- not just the armed forces, and that uses all the resources available to be able to win it. It's "the mobilization of the entire society and its resources for the war effort". In this essay several aspects will be investigated, which would help us answer the question. The first thing that comes to mind is the scale of war. It was tremendous. Almost every country participated in the Second World War. There were Europe, USA, USSR, Scandinavia, North Africa, Japan, China and Australia involved. And definitely there wasn't even one country in the whole world that didn't suffer from its effects. The war was fought on several fronts simultaneously, and thus the armies needed as many soldiers as possible. ...read more.


In Germany, Hamburg became the center of war production. And in the years between 1936-1939, 2/3 of all industrial investment went into war-related projects. In every country the factories turned to war production. Even the American industry changed to war production after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. In Russia, strict regimentations, harsh discipline, and long working hours were introduced. Every scrap of raw material and resources went into arms production and nothing else. Adults in the USSR received no food unless they worked in some way for the war effort. Soviet citizens survived on one-fifth of the wartime ration in Britain. In the years of 1942-1944, 2300 new factories were built. Some workers in the country had to move from one part of the country to another to be able to work in an industry. Every single thing in the country was being used. For transport there were mostly trains ("war by timetable") and also new technology was used to get food faster to the front. For example in Leningrad during the years of blockade, the food was delivered in the cars through the frozen lake, there was no other way, as the citizens were cut off from the whole world by the German troops, whose main aim was to starve people out of the city. ...read more.


This didn't take place just in one country; everyone who was involved in the war used propaganda etc. to help the people to deal with such horrible event and to keep their hopes up. And the last thing that I am going to talk about is the number of casualties, which just once again proves us that the Second World War was a Total War. This event saw casualties on an unprecedented scale. For example in World War One it is estimated that a total of 8,500,000 people were killed and 57,470,000 injured. This is already an enormous loss, however the casualties of World War Two were much more horrific! Altogether 55 million died, and more civilians than soldiers lost their lives for the first time, people died from starvation, atrocities and bombing. About 27 million deaths were of the Soviet people; they lost the most than any other country. There were also lots of refugees. Some cities and villages were totally destroyed, especially in Russia. To conclude, from all the examples and factors that are discussed above, I agree that the Second World War was the Total War. Each level of society and every country were affected. Never before was there a war that happened on such enormous scale and caused so much damage. The memories and the pain of this war will always stay in people's hearts. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

    After two consecutive wars where they were invaded by the Germans, the USSR felt it necessary to create buffer states to protect the borders of the fatherland. The communist regimes in place enabled Russia to controll the Eastern Europe, which provided protection to Russia.

  2. In what ways did the Second World War affect the lives of ordinary people ...

    It was brought to the publics attention that the Germans were losing their reputable U-boats, again presenting what was a great loss overall into a positive event in the eyes of the nation. Even though in 1942 1299 British vessels were lost compared with the pitiful 87 U-boats sunk.

  1. What is "Total War"? Discuss with reference to World War One and World War ...

    In the beginning of the war nobody expected that it would last for such a long time, more and more men were needed to replace the dead and injured. The loss of men damaged the industries a lot, as there was not enough workforce.

  2. Vietnam War.

    Still others were placed under arrest, the government charging that the Buddhist groups had become infiltrated by politically hostile individuals, including Communists. Although this contention was supported by outside observers, including a US fact-finding team, religious friction between the Buddhists and the Catholic-led government was at least as powerful a force as political conflict.

  1. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    Syrian reinforcements were caught en route by Israeli ground attack aircraft. At the same time, the IDF continued to maul 1st Armoured Division of the Syrian army in a battle that started on 9th June north of Lake Qaraoun and raged on for three days.

  2. Vietnam - reasons the US lost the war.

    After arriving back to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh decided to start the Vietminh. The Vietminh were a group that later became as an independence movement against the French. Many people supported Ho Chi Minh for his actions especially his own people.

  1. How important was the war at sea

    In 1916, the government had to introduce conscription for the first time otherwise there would be a shortage of men in the trenches. The government first said that all single men between the ages 18 and 41 had to fight at the trenches.

  2. The Second World War as a Total War

    A complete new style of fighting was introduced. It involved more weapons, more machinery, more soldiers and thus obviously more damage and deaths. For example, a new tactic that became known as Blitzkrieg, or lightening war, was introduced. Blitzkrieg used shock tactics.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work